Last week T.L. Taylor, associate professor in the Center for Computer Games Research at the IT University of Copenhagen, gave a presentation about massively multiplayer online games at the Virtual Knowledge Studio in Amsterdam. She illustrated her talk with some examples from the World of Warcraft. I discovered a brand new reality to me, indeed, a virtual reality (to be more accurate): people collaborate online to overcome problems and to face challenges in a virtual world. It is astonishing the amount of time that people spend online playing this sort of games. In accordance with some estimates, more than 5 million years, the same as human evolution (see video for more information about this).
Being more receptive to online games, I paid attention to this TED video from Jane McGonigal (via McGee’s Musings), who is convinced that we can contribute to save the world through playing collaborative games. Some of the stories and figures she gives are pretty inspiring. For example, the story of how the kingdom of Lydia survived playing games and the possible links between this and the Etruscans who later on lead to the Roman Empire. Worth watching it!